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Old 07-11-2018, 06:19 AM   #1
barnett77859
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Default keep heifers or buy cows

just looking for advice is it better to keep heifers and wait 21/2 years to get calves or sell them and buy bred cows. got a new lease and need around 25 more cows to get it stocked to where I want it.
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Old 07-11-2018, 06:30 AM   #2
4R Daddy
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Sell and buy


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Old 07-11-2018, 06:40 AM   #3
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As cheap as cows are right now it would be hard not to sell and buy bred cows
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Old 07-11-2018, 06:43 AM   #4
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If your just having cattle for the sake of having cattle and a small herd sell and buy, but if you have a solid bull with a quality bloodline and chasing money for the long run be picky of what you buy.

We spent a small fortune on a Pedigreed English Hereford Bull over 30 years ago and started small with a few Pedigreed Cows and grew slowly over the years adding 2 more Bulls from similar lines. When the family made the choice to sell the herd and get out of the cattle business we had over 350 cattle but our investment in quality over quantity paid off.
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Old 07-11-2018, 07:16 AM   #5
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Sell and buy


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Agreed.
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Old 07-11-2018, 07:31 AM   #6
jbonney1986
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Keep heifers
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Old 07-11-2018, 08:05 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by Soggy Bottom View Post
As cheap as cows are right now it would be hard not to sell and buy bred cows
This ^^^^^^^^^^^

Remember you gotta feed them this winter.
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Old 07-11-2018, 08:15 AM   #8
barnett77859
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thanks I am leaning on selling and buying I only have a 5 year lease on this place and feel like 50 head would stock it to where I would want to be on it. I run 40 head at the house place and could quickly get 25 heifers to put on it but its a long wait on getting a return on them. no looking to have a full blood operation just a good cow calf operation on it
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Old 07-11-2018, 08:23 AM   #9
Dusty Britches
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You could just get stockers, too. Buy 4-5 weights, sell in mid February when the cyclical prices are the highest or sell in mid-late May through June when they are the second highest but easier to time the market. The February high usually lasts 2-3 weeks.
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Old 07-11-2018, 08:31 AM   #10
barnett77859
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I don't know if the fences are good enough to drop stockers in I better stay wit the cow calf deal
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Old 07-11-2018, 08:40 AM   #11
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For what you are trying to accomplish...........buy bred commercial type cows! Put good bulls on them, and they will make a mediocre cow shine. With 50 cows your gonna need 2 bulls as well, but i'm sure you know that.
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Old 07-11-2018, 08:45 AM   #12
barnett77859
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hadn't really thought to much about getting another bull but you are right I have a angus on the 25 head that I have on the place now I better plan on getting another angus bull I need a 15 or 16 month bull that's just getting ready to service .
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Old 07-11-2018, 08:53 AM   #13
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I've done both. I kept a set of 10 heifers once and it was a long time to wait for calves to sell. Plus a few were really late breeding back. They turned out to be good cows but I would of been better off buying bred cows I think.
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Old 07-11-2018, 09:38 AM   #14
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I would buy pairs. You'll get a return on the cows in 4-5 months. Then you could wean the calves before you have to hay. Doesn't take much to winter a bred stocker cow in the winter.
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Old 07-11-2018, 09:58 AM   #15
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Buy bred cows now with the prices down and sell heifers when prices go back up, if you got the acreage/cash flow.
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Old 07-11-2018, 10:13 AM   #16
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I have been looking at this as well. Bred cows are 1300-1400 and heifers are 7-900. I can't see the advantage if I'm paying an extra 5-700 up front(about what the calf will bring if I have 100% calving rate). Either way, I'm waiting on the next calf to pay off. What am I missing here??
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Old 07-11-2018, 10:17 AM   #17
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Are you going to offer day hunts?

(sorry....my bad)
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Old 07-11-2018, 10:30 AM   #18
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Calving out first calf heifers can be a challenge.
you have to be able to watch them everyday.
we are doing it now, and it can be a real pain.
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Old 07-11-2018, 10:32 AM   #19
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Keep them. Cheaper
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Old 07-11-2018, 12:41 PM   #20
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Sell and buy is what I have been doing.

I would suggest if you buy bread cows to make sure you know what kind of bull they were bread too. I bought some bread cows and lost one because the calf was too big to even pull.
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Old 07-11-2018, 12:42 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BrianL View Post
I have been looking at this as well. Bred cows are 1300-1400 and heifers are 7-900. I can't see the advantage if I'm paying an extra 5-700 up front(about what the calf will bring if I have 100% calving rate). Either way, I'm waiting on the next calf to pay off. What am I missing here??
A lot less risk of loosing a calf or worse calf and momma during birth.
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Old 07-11-2018, 12:49 PM   #22
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Originally Posted by Stolle View Post
A lot less risk of losing a calf or worse calf and momma during birth.
The further I get into this, the more options of ways to not lose "AS MUCH" money seem to be the only options I get!
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Old 07-11-2018, 12:58 PM   #23
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I use to be the one to promote the sell them and buy cows routine.

After my last batch i bought from an individual I have decided just to keep all of the heifers and raise them up. I know what there momma was and i know the history. For me its not necessarily about the most cost effective but the most trouble free.

Now if i know the history on the cattle then i would suggest buying a set of bred cows.

But if it was me i would keep the heifers until i found a set i was comfortable with.
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Old 07-11-2018, 01:03 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stolle View Post
A lot less risk of loosing a calf or worse calf and momma during birth.
Ill take my chance with a set of first time heifers calving over a set of unknown cows any day.

Biggest problem with heifers is getting them to cycle reliably unless you shoot them up. If you do it naturally you are liable to have some that wont cycle as quick as other then you have your calving season spread out over 6 months.

Last edited by dclifton; 07-11-2018 at 01:05 PM.
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Old 07-11-2018, 01:10 PM   #25
steve morton
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If you've got into the cattle industry to make money fast, heifers probably not the deal. If in it for purebred programs like me, I would rather keep them good heifers and breed them at 21 months old and have a great cow/calf at 2 1/2 years old that will breed right back.
Of course if someone offers too much money for a few, they are all for sale! I've got too much time and money invested in a program to sell all my heifers.
Beefmasters, after all it's about the number of pounds that's hitting the scales in the shortest time possible.
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Old 07-11-2018, 01:15 PM   #26
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Bovine noob here. Good info. Thanks All for sharing.
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Old 07-11-2018, 01:46 PM   #27
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Sell and buy-
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Old 07-11-2018, 01:55 PM   #28
Dusty Britches
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dclifton View Post
I use to be the one to promote the sell them and buy cows routine.

After my last batch i bought from an individual I have decided just to keep all of the heifers and raise them up. I know what there momma was and i know the history. For me its not necessarily about the most cost effective but the most trouble free.

Now if i know the history on the cattle then i would suggest buying a set of bred cows.

But if it was me i would keep the heifers until i found a set i was comfortable with.
That's my opinion, too, since I know my property is long term. I am so tired of paying $1500+ for heifers and after a year I only have half because of genetic health issues or they didn't breed. The last set of 8 I bought I only have 4 left. One shed a calf at 4 months and didn't rebreed, 1 ran through my pens, 1 didn't breed at all, and one's hooves disintegrated due to severe screw claw. Literally fell apart like wet chalk.

Out of the 4 that remain - one rebreeds late (as in every 14-16 months, not 11-12 months) and she is a dangerous witch when she has a calf. I'll be selling her soon. So 3 years after buying these 8, I'm down to 3 that are worth the money I paid. And that's just one set that I've bought in the last 4 years. We won't talk about the other set.

From the 10 heifers I've kept over the last 6 years, only 1 was sold because she didn't breed. The rest are healthy, rebreed quickly, grow a good calf and are docile.
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Old 07-11-2018, 02:34 PM   #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dclifton View Post
Ill take my chance with a set of first time heifers calving over a set of unknown cows any day.

Biggest problem with heifers is getting them to cycle reliably unless you shoot them up. If you do it naturally you are liable to have some that wont cycle as quick as other then you have your calving season spread out over 6 months.


I agree with you, but I don稚 have the time to check on calving heifers every day.

My best experience lately was from a heard of pairs and bread cows I bought that were on the same bull. I had zero issues with calving and could continue to check them 1-2 times per week.

I知 sure I値l try raising heifers, but I値l have to be retired first.


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Old 07-11-2018, 02:59 PM   #30
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I've never sold any for more than I've paid to buy any. I just raise mine.
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Old 07-11-2018, 03:09 PM   #31
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Sell in the fall and buy in the spring.

Spend the winter sitting by the fire.
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Old 07-11-2018, 03:47 PM   #32
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If you buy another bull, make sure he’s STD checked or you could have decreased pregnancy rate.
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Old 07-11-2018, 04:27 PM   #33
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stolle View Post
I agree with you, but I don稚 have the time to check on calving heifers every day.

My best experience lately was from a heard of pairs and bread cows I bought that were on the same bull. I had zero issues with calving and could continue to check them 1-2 times per week.

I知 sure I値l try raising heifers, but I値l have to be retired first.


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I hear ya! Luckily for me i have enough pastures right now i can keep all my heifers in the pasture by the house and i can check them before and after work. Also I have a flexible schedule so that helps.
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Old 07-11-2018, 04:31 PM   #34
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dusty Britches View Post
That's my opinion, too, since I know my property is long term. I am so tired of paying $1500+ for heifers and after a year I only have half because of genetic health issues or they didn't breed. The last set of 8 I bought I only have 4 left. One shed a calf at 4 months and didn't rebreed, 1 ran through my pens, 1 didn't breed at all, and one's hooves disintegrated due to severe screw claw. Literally fell apart like wet chalk.

Out of the 4 that remain - one rebreeds late (as in every 14-16 months, not 11-12 months) and she is a dangerous witch when she has a calf. I'll be selling her soon. So 3 years after buying these 8, I'm down to 3 that are worth the money I paid. And that's just one set that I've bought in the last 4 years. We won't talk about the other set.

From the 10 heifers I've kept over the last 6 years, only 1 was sold because she didn't breed. The rest are healthy, rebreed quickly, grow a good calf and are docile.
Sounds all to familiar.

Problem with buying cows from an unkown unless its a herd sell out their are to many brokers just buying cows to know what your getting.

For instance i know a guy that goes to every sale in a 100mile radius of us every week. He has about 10 pastures with different types of cattle in them. He goes around and buys 1-10 head at a time at sells and gets them all matched up with what he has then sells lots of 20-50 head at a time.

Well half of what you buy may be open or had calving problems or prolapsed its like a bag of tricks you never know what your going to get.
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Old 07-11-2018, 05:11 PM   #35
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dclifton View Post
Sounds all to familiar.

Problem with buying cows from an unkown unless its a herd sell out their are to many brokers just buying cows to know what your getting.

For instance i know a guy that goes to every sale in a 100mile radius of us every week. He has about 10 pastures with different types of cattle in them. He goes around and buys 1-10 head at a time at sells and gets them all matched up with what he has then sells lots of 20-50 head at a time.

Well half of what you buy may be open or had calving problems or prolapsed its like a bag of tricks you never know what your going to get.
That's what got me the first time! Luckily I only lost 2 out of the 15 I bought. I learned my lesson.
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Old 07-12-2018, 11:01 AM   #36
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Originally Posted by dclifton View Post
Sounds all to familiar.

Problem with buying cows from an unkown unless its a herd sell out their are to many brokers just buying cows to know what your getting.

For instance i know a guy that goes to every sale in a 100mile radius of us every week. He has about 10 pastures with different types of cattle in them. He goes around and buys 1-10 head at a time at sells and gets them all matched up with what he has then sells lots of 20-50 head at a time.

Well half of what you buy may be open or had calving problems or prolapsed its like a bag of tricks you never know what your going to get.
True, we've been stung by "breeders" and by Jordan Auctioneers.

The aforementioned heifer we bought with screwclaw real bad - we returned her for our money back and the "breeder" said she would either just keep her and use her or find someone who wasn't so picky. Really? Does she really think that someone won't care that the dang cow can't stand much less walk? And why in the heck would you keep that for breeding??
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Old 07-12-2018, 11:24 AM   #37
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In a lease situation I don't see any upside to keeping heifers.
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Old 07-12-2018, 11:30 AM   #38
dclifton
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dusty Britches View Post
True, we've been stung by "breeders" and by Jordan Auctioneers.

The aforementioned heifer we bought with screwclaw real bad - we returned her for our money back and the "breeder" said she would either just keep her and use her or find someone who wasn't so picky. Really? Does she really think that someone won't care that the dang cow can't stand much less walk? And why in the heck would you keep that for breeding??
No kidden best thing to do is send her to the sale barn or freezer.
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Old 07-12-2018, 11:57 AM   #39
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dusty Britches View Post
True, we've been stung by "breeders" and by Jordan Auctioneers.

The aforementioned heifer we bought with screwclaw real bad - we returned her for our money back and the "breeder" said she would either just keep her and use her or find someone who wasn't so picky. Really? Does she really think that someone won't care that the dang cow can't stand much less walk? And why in the heck would you keep that for breeding??
Where was this breeder located?
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Old 07-12-2018, 12:44 PM   #40
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That's why you keep your best heifers, i had one last year that got sizzortoe. She finished off nicely and is in the deep freeze right now!
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Old 07-12-2018, 02:19 PM   #41
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I知 learning some new stuff. Heards and bread cows. I知 gonna sail my heard and buy me some bread cows.
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Old 07-12-2018, 02:29 PM   #42
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Are you going to offer day hunts?

(sorry....my bad)
Cattle aren't that fun to hunt
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Old 07-12-2018, 02:38 PM   #43
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A lot depends on your genetics, feed situation, immediate and future income targets . . .

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Old 07-12-2018, 02:41 PM   #44
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Quote:
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I知 learning some new stuff. Heards and bread cows. I知 gonna sail my heard and buy me some bread cows.
You should!! A heard of bread cows comes pre- packaged with the buns for your hamburgers.
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Old 07-12-2018, 02:47 PM   #45
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I’d sell the heifers and buy you a good set of bred cows, if your paying for the land lease this will help you get a paycheck quicker
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Old 07-12-2018, 03:00 PM   #46
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Buying bred cows at auction is buying something that somebody wants to get rid of. Why?
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Old 07-12-2018, 04:03 PM   #47
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For this situation I would do both. Buy some good bred cows so you have emediate income. Keep your best heifers to replace any culls you buy. I Keep my best every year.
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Old 07-12-2018, 04:27 PM   #48
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For this situation I would do both. Buy some good bred cows so you have emediate income. Keep your best heifers to replace any culls you buy. I Keep my best every year.


We are selling off our herd. DONT go to Buffalo. Their vet dont know what he is doing. Our long bred cows were not palpated or were marked unbred when they obviously bred. Somebody got some dang good cows on the cheap.


Or in your case, go buy from the Buffalo auction. You might get bred cows for better prices


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Old 07-12-2018, 04:32 PM   #49
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If I'm starting fresh in the cattle business what would be a good ratio number of head (cows heiffers) to go with?
I have 80 acres but only 25 are used for hay production today.

I'm thinking of going with (Br)Angus to start with

And should I do registered?
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Old 07-12-2018, 05:19 PM   #50
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Walker View Post
Buying bred cows at auction is buying something that somebody wants to get rid of. Why?
I wouldn’t go to a local sale barn to buy any, usually when a cow is the sale barn there is usually a reason they are selling her
We’ve alway bought replacement cattle ( young bred cow or young cow/calf pair) from private sellers, like a seed stock ranch. A ranch that raises large number of cattle for smaller producers to buy in smaller numbers to get started or replace cattle that are too old to be productive
You may pay slightly higher price but know what breeding and quality your getting

You might look on - cattle range - website has large and small herds all different ages and pairs
for sale and you can search by region and breed to find something that might work for your need

.

Last edited by ReydonPete; 07-12-2018 at 05:26 PM.
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